Treasury says small business definition change meant to spark discussion

On Thursday, House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam GravesSam GravesPrivate jet company backs Trump's air traffic control overhaul GOP signals infrastructure bill must wait House Republicans work to torpedo Trump’s air traffic control plan MORE (Mo.) and Sen. Olympia Snowe (Maine), ranking member on the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, wrote the letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner saying they think the definition will be used by the Obama administration in the debate over the fiscal cliff and its effects on small companies.  

"At a time of economic and regulatory uncertainty, when small businesses, our nation's most prolific job creators, are struggling to keep their doors open, the department's development of an arbitrary new definition adds unnecessary confusion and complexity," Graves and Snowe wrote. 

Republicans argue that a proposed tax increase on those making more than $250,000 a year ensnares many of the nation's small businesses.

"We are concerned about the effect of the report's definition on current policy discussions, and believe it is not helpful to inject yet another definition into an already muddled field."

The paper called the new definition a work in progress and subject to revision. 

"Views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent official Treasury positions or policy," the report said.